B192 – THE ONLY WAY TO SEE NEW YORK

There’s a few main things everyone does when they arrive at a new city. Most activities are surrounded by the main tourist spots, eating food food and having a look around the individual shops that you always find scattered around city streets. But if your really looking to see a city and get to know the streets, there’s only one thing todo and that’s jump on a bike, get rubber side up and cycle around without a Scooby Doo of where you’re going.

That’s basically what I decided todo, this morning after waking up, getting my work done early I decided to head to the big smoke. When I got to down town New York I quickly realised that B&H camera store was closed and now I had no idea where or what I was going to do. So jumping on a bike was the best option. Nothing is better than cycling around a city just explore and finding your feet.

After a few Highway Code incidents I was pretty much a local, the main rule when cycling in New York or really any city is, if you see a gap, go for it and don’t hesitate. Once I got over the fact everyone drives on the wrong side of the road, my first stop was Brooklyn bridge I’ve always wanted to see the Hudson River from that bridge and today I actually did it.

New York is a place that’s basically featured in 80% of all movies America movies ever made and cycling around you start to recognise street corners or building that have definitely been on screen and that’s half the fun of this city. trying to figure out what street has been on what film.

I would give you a complete time line of what my day consisted of, but what’s the point. I would rather talk about the fact the only way to see New York and feel some way part of the city is to grab a bike and just see where you end up. And if by any chance you end up in Broadway, go and try the $1 pizza by the slice store it’s called joeys pizza and is the perfect place to finish up your cycle. who need some expensive gourmet sandwich when you can get a re-heat pizza for a faction of the price.
Tomorrow is the first day of filming and the end of my 12 hour holiday. My legs are pretty much dead. I’m not sure the total amount of miles cycled but it’s got to be about 15. From Times Square down to Brooklyn and back up and around noho / soho. in my defence today is an adjustment day, and the best way to get rid of Jet lag is to exercise. and thats exactly what I’ve done.

Heres my photos from today, enjoy.

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– cycling around this city early morning was pretty cool –
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– this was somewhere I always wanted to go, Brooklyn Bridge –
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– this is somewhere i just happened to find, New York Supreme court, how many movies do you know from this location –
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– In the distance is the statue of Liberty –
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– my typical New York photo –

B181 – PLEASE LET ME SLEEP

For the past months I’ve been properly excited to have a Sunday, and today that’s what I had. For some reason Amy and me woke up at like 6:30 this morning and decided we should head over to Cambridge road flower market first thing and grab some more plants for the flat, the plan is to basically have like an indoor balcony. We don’t have an outside bit so doing the best we can with the extra big window ledge.

I’m telling you now it’s coming along nicely, I’m not going to post any pictures because I want to reveal the thing look once it’s done m, which will hopefully be soon. I’ve got my eye on a few things that will finish it off. Anyone after getting hold of a pine apple plant and some other planets I’m not sure what they are but we headed back to the flat and make a plan to head over to Epping forest.

Who knew that Epping forest was actually anywhere near Epping tube station, I just imagined it would be like the new forest and you can just get off the train anywhere and be surround by country side. That was definitely not the case and the only answer was the head into a local pub for the good old English pub grub, no alcohol though just a pint of orange juice.

We basically just looked around Epping and headed back to London to grab some supplies for the flat, I have good news. As of tomorrow the flat will now have blinds, I’ve been here for 3 yeas now and finally blinds are going to be installed! It’s been a long wait, but it’s happening and I can’t wait.

I suppose this is a proper Sunday post, nothing to extreme just a chilled day out, on the other hand I can’t sleep through the night and keep waking up at like 2ish for a few hours I’m pretty sure it’s the jet lag and it’s happened to be again now, it’s 2:37 on Monday morning a few hours ago I was passed out now I’m wake awake! Does anyone have any tips to get back to normal, I love sleep and really want a full nights sleep.

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– this guys got a strong shirt –
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– I really want to get a proper tree for the flat –
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– this is amy getting excited about pillows, when did my sundays become about flowers and pillows – ” Green goes so well with orange –

B180 – THE BEST FOOD IVE EVER HAD – SKETCH, LONDON

Yesterday was all about getting some good food, so Amy and me headed off the this little restaurant in town called Sketch. If you’ve heard of it before its probably becuase its one of the coolest places to eat. I booked that table about 4 weeks ago and was struggling to get a good table, thats how packed this place is. the food was incredible too, we had the duck Foie Gras for starts with the leeks and razor clams. both of us have never had clams before, they we actually really good.

for mains I though it would be rude not to have the Kent Lamb loin, as i am from kent and know that we do good food. it was perfect and the sauce they put on the top was unbelievable, no meal is complete without a side of chips. so thats what finished us off.

Amy let me have a taste of her Sea Bass main meal and after spending a month in america where you think fish is fresh, this was a different level of fresh. its fair to say that all the processed food in the states, was starting to become more of a mission and having that food has brought me back to reality. its now lie that america josh had started to put on the pounds, a mixture of 1 minute pancakes and Chuckey cheese, had started to show. but lucky I’m now back to good fresh food.

I do love going to new cities and countries and exploring loads of places, but I think theres only one city I can call home and thats London. I even love the rude people that give you funny looks on the tube. even they have a certain London look, that you don’t find anywhere else in the world.

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– This place is like no other restaurant ive been in –
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– this photo was taken by turning the table lamp upside down and using the light from it –
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– a bad quality photo but I still like it –

 

 

B173 – YOU DON’T NEED A HELMET

I’m writing this a day before I actually need too, the next 48 hours are going to be a bit stressfull, so I thought I would do this post way before I need to just to make sure that its decent and not completely rubbish.

Today I wanted to post more pictures of the junk yard I went too a few days ago, just because it was something that I think is worth posting. The whole idea of taking photos at a place where you would think to take photos is what I like about this and its made me want to go to more junk yards and take photos.

The first photo I want to talk about is the guy riding the motorbike, in Illinois is legal to ride a motorbike without a helmet. Now for someone from London its completely weird to see people riding motorbikes around without a helmet on, it just doesn’t look normal. But it definitely adds to the cool factor, it makes motorbike riders look more like Nomads than part of a society. Like this guy, he’s just cruising around looking like he’s going nowhere but everywhere at the same time. the guys probably just on his way to get some milk for his family at home, but that’s not the impression he gives. I’m not sure if I agree with the helmet laws over here, but who I am to judge.

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For all these photos I used a Canon 20mm prime, shot in Black and White but also used RAW + JPEG format, but so I had the safety of using an Uncompressed image but was using Black and White as a reference. When you shoot in RGB but plan on changing the photo to B&W later on you shoot completely different and don’t think about the lighting as much as to when your only seeing B&W as an in camera reference.

My tip is to always shoot in the colour scale you plan to edit in and release you image as. I think it makes a huge different to the out come of your photo. Someone might say differently but by shooting RAW + JPG, you aren’t risking anything.

Here’s my other two photos. As your reading this, im currently on my way to an airport.

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– I like the rough paint on the side of this truck –
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– not for sale –

B169 – UNKNOWN COOL AMERICA – THE JUNK YARD TRIP – PT.3

about a mile down the road from the hotel we are staying in, is this cool scrap / mechanics / junk yard that has a few hidden gems. From the freeway that runs parallel to the yard, you can see this 1970’s all white cadillac and as today was a prep day, basically getting ready for our up and coming shoots. I thought I would get in a bit of time to explore this yard.

On the way over I thought I would try something a bit different and shoot these in Black and White not edit them later in lightroom and turn them black and white. but completely shoot black and white. my thought process was that because theres a  complete mixture of items from eras and parts from around the world that have all ended up in the same place, the only way I would be able to get across the feeling abandoness *not sure if thats a word, but ill go with it*. was by shooting Black and white.

Its 99% worked, these photos have a feel of loneless and despair, everything you see in this junk yard once had a home, it was once used for a purpose and now its left out in the elements to rust away until its up-cycled and found a new home. Hopefully. places like this yard are full of stories, like the van below which to me looks like it has a bullet hole in the windscreen and the front completely caved in. what the hell happened to that truck? as someone who likes the over the top story line, I like to think it was involved in some kind of gangsta stuff involving two bonnie and Clyde characters who instead of robbing a bank accidentally ended up in my library because bonnie was drunk that day and didn’t scoop the place out first. which meant the police got involved and took a pop at Cylde the get away driver. so now their choice of get away van is sat rusting away in the junk yard in Chicago instead of Mexico.

I can almost guarantee thats no where near what actually happened, but thats the kind of crap my brain likes to conjure up when Im taking these photos.

heres my photos from todays mini shoot. thanks to Frank and Al for letting me explore their Junk Yard!

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– the caddy is something I want back home –
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– the bullet hole? –
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– this van –
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– black and white just adds to the photos –
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– this tool was probably once pretty useful to someone –
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– big and small –

B168 – COOL UNKNOWN AMERICA – CLASSIC VW MEET. PT.3

A Few years ago I brought a 1967 VW Beach Buggy for my dad and me to drive, it was a sick little car when it worked and we would always need new parts or an MOT. The last time I took it for a spin, the accelerator peddle would get stuck on and the car would stop. which made of an interesting drive. when I brought that car at the age of 16, I could get insured and didnt even have a license, when I passed my test the insurance was so expensive it was really worth it.

Today my love for beach buggys has been re-lite. across the road from our hotel today was this VW car meet, with people selling parts and showing off their cars. The beach buggies were pretty impressive but thats not the main reason I decided to go, I love looking at those cars and seeing people impression but I wanted to photograph the people who import all this, it cant be easy finding classic VW parts in Silver Lake Chicago, it must take a network of people to find all the small parts like a 60’s Beetle speedometer or a carb and its these people that I want to photograph.

I was speaking to a few people about what its like selling old VW car parts and the life style it brings and the whole thing is pretty interesting, every purchase has to be calculated and thought about. can they use it on there projects or can it be cleaned restored and sold on. its definitely something which has to be a hobby first and then maybe possible make a living from it down the line maybe.

What my favourite thing about these classic cars is the fact that none of them are standard, everyones added their own personality to them, like the crazy Mexican’s who have built a massive table football  on the back of there VW camper and then all just play football and laugh, its their two favourite things football and VWs coming together in a way that you wouldnt find in the back of a toyota Prius. classic VW’s just seem to have a personality that no other car has.

anyway enough of hearing my views, heres my snaps. By the way these were all shot on a 20mm 2.8 canon lens. I think its my new favourite lens.

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– VW camper, table football edition –
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– these guys were selling old VW manuals and magazines, just happy to be there –
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– he was happy really –
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– this photo just made me smile –

 

B167 – COOL UNKOWN AMERICA – ST LOUIS TO CHICAGO PT.2

today we drove from St.louis to our next destination Chicago for the fourth location on this little filming trip. its fair to say this country is absolutely bonkers but in a good way, from the size of the food portions to the crazy ideas that people seem to have and then make them work. like the city museum in downtown St.louis, where they have a 10 story side and have decided to park a school bus and a plane on top of the building, it was the sort of place were kids and grown ups can just run around and explore climbing weird structures and old planes high above the city sky line! I thought it was amazing but i wanted to explore the city and decided to go and check out downtown, I got about 5 blocks from the museum when a bunch of motorbikes started racing down the road pulling wheels and stuff just like in the movie creed it was nuts. my camera was on completely the wrong settings, so the photos were just over exposed. thats why I need the Leica M.

After this little de tour, we hit the road heading for Chicago, driving north on the 55, around an hour into the drive we went past this crazy vintage car dealer, it literally had every car you could imagine from pre 1970, including rolls royce’s, ford pops and the car that malcoms parents drive in Malcom in the middle. unfortunatly it shut like 10 mintues before me got there, which basically meant we could only look at it from the fench. I still managed to get some photos of a burnt out car they must of brought to resort. I have no idea what car it is, but I properly like the picture.

Im now at the hotel in Chicago in the area of Lake on The Hill, not sure if im near a lake but it sounds like I am. the lady at the reception told us to go and try the famous restaurant Portillo’s across the road, its fair to say that is was a good shout. that place is amazing and as its somewhere that I quite like, so heres some info on it.

Portillos was founded in 1963 by a man names dick portillo, After he was honourably discharge from the marine corpe decided to open up a hot dog stand and invested $1,100 in a 6 x 12ft trailer and parked it on North Avenue in Villa Park, Chicago. he called it “The Dog House”. the van didnt have any running water so he would have to run 250m to a local bar every now and again to give his stand a top up.

4 years later he had turned it into a successfull business and decided it was time for a revamp and opened “Portillos” , it basically took off and he went on to open more and more locations. then in 1983, the first drive though opened in Downers Grove (Chicago) and instantly became know for its quick service and good hot dogs.

this place is quickly developing a name for its self all over the US and has now opened up in southern California, Florida, Wisconsin and Minnesota. If you ever pass one of these places, trust me and stop off for a hotdog. they’re crazy enough ship anywhere in the USA!

I also drove along route 66, which i didnt get todo last time as my mates didn’t think I was a good enough driver to drive the RV. well this time I did and it was pretty cool. Im also not sure if this post fits in my project, Cool Unknown America. But I feel like this is cool america off the beaten track so it should be allow and its my project so I can say its allow, so it is. I suppose this post is more of a dairy kind of think which I quite like.

heres my snaps from today, let me know what you think! Im also not sure if this 20mm prime lens is working properly, so tomorrow im going to put it through its paces and see what happens. so if tomorrow photos are crap I apologies in advance.

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– route 66, just off the north 55 –
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– st. louis city museum –
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– the vintage car dealer on route 66, is burnt out car was waiting out the front –
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– Portillos, chicago. Hot dog and fries. Well worth it –

 

B165 – The Cool Side of Unknown America – photography project

So today was has been my best day so far, I had 146 views. so thank you to everyone who checked my post out.  which is putting me on target of getting 12,000 overall views for the whole year I’m doing this photo challange, which is probably annoying a lot of you with my posts each’ day. its the end of a long long shoot day in pretty hot temperatures here is St.louis missouri, and for once im pretty happy to be in the best western hotel room. anit nothing wrong with some cheap bed sheets and thin walls.

its days like this were I really cant think of any to write and the urge to fall asleep is taking over. the last 45 mintues has been spent editing photos ive quickly taken through out the day, i really cant complain becuase im pretty happy with them. my plan before I came out to america was to just take nice photos each day. but that plan has kind of changed, as im here working and meeting people that you wouldn’t meet everyday, I think my plan now is to show life in america away from the tourist routes, like New York, LA, Nashville and Florida. I want to try and get across what everyday america looks like, from the cool little houses, to the massive stretches of roads. All of that is important, it gives an under the cover look at america. for a country with so much personality and with the constant cool factor, it think I should concentrate on showing the cool side to unknown america. maybe thats what I will call this project within a porject. “THE COOL SIDE OF UNKNOWN AMERICA”. great brainstorming session guys, youve really helped me to nail this one. for the rest of my time in american, Im going to try and show you the cool side to this great and crazy country.

If this fails in 5 days time, im sorry. but heres my first snaps from this project inside a project.  I think for day one of cool unknown america, I should show where people live and the roads they use. this is never going to be political photos, just cool pictures from inside the bigger picture of america. I dont even know what im going to write about for the daily posts, but im sure we will figure it out. if you have anything you think I should include, please let me know.

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– the view from my room, this morning there was “loads of fog” they should see biggin hill in January! –
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– over here the car is king and more importantly the pick up truck is in charge, everyone uses the pick up truck –
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– the most american house I ever did see, it ever had a swinging chair on the porch –

 

B163 – watch out for boxer bombs

For a day off its been pretty busy, we started off at some place called gringos which is this crazy store that sells just about everything you could imagine from life size giraffes to day of the dead napkins. its one of those cool stores that goes on forever and sells everything. the weirdest thing is they have a sign on the floor warning you of dog poo from these two shop dogs called Darren and Darren, im not joking they gave two dogs the same name! if your ever on Shaw street in St louis by the botanical Gardens you cant miss this shop, stop by and say hello. the people who run it our legends.

After the first stop we moved onto the Botanical Gardens for a little adventure, its so strange how just by walking around plants and stuff can be so relaxing, i’m definitely changing my bath room at home into a forest. it would literally change the game up so much, I dont think I have any other option than to buy a bunch of plants and stick them in my bathroom. Im going to draw a few sketch’s for when I get back and hit the ground running.

Some time after we left the Botanical Gardens, we made a decision to head down town and check out St louis, we basically ended up at the baseball park, trying to buy tickets for the game this evening against Cincinnati reds, after we got hold of some tickets, we had to go to the fan store and by a hat, which in turn ended up with us blowing a bit of money to make us look like die hard fans. I would say its a success and now ive got a cool hat and jumper out of it.

The day off has been a success and now we are ready to get back to work tomorrow and finish off what we have started, “m ready to crack on and make some good TV. right after Ive got a good night sleep and a bowl of lucky charms tomorrow morning.

heres some photos from today. Im right this as the st Louis Cardinals carry on playing, at the moment they are up 13-6, so hopefully they win. I’m now a die hard Cardinals fan and only want the best for my team.

Sorry for any spelling mistakes, Im not going to proof read this.

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– the st louis cardinals –
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– whats a Boxer bomb? –
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– the botanical gardens, st louis –
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– he has know Idea what a boxer bomb is… –
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– my baseball stash –

 

B160 – A NUCLEAR BOMB

Im currently in a town called Goldsboro in north Carolina, its this small town which falls under the wayne county, form in 1787 by William Whitefeild iii. to be honest this place has got a fair bit of history and something I think is pretty cool to know more about considering the fact that I’m staying here.

One cool fact about this place is todo with a battle that happened here in 1862 called the Battle of Goldborough Bridge. the whole reason for this battle was because both sides wanted to have the strategic possession for the rail road bridge, like a proper western movie. General John Foster turned up at the bridge with his troops on December the 17th, with the sole aim to destroy the position and put a holt to the enemies supply chain from the port of Wilmington. John Foster managed to complete this mission and burned down the bridge on the same day that they arrived, this really annoyed the confederate troops on the other side. they decided to attack General Foster and his troops on their way back to New Bern. which kind of failed because the confederate troops ended off with more causalities that John Fosters men.

Another interesting fact is that in 1961 two NUCLEAR bombs were dropped 12 miles from Goldsboro in the town of Faro, by accident when a B-52 bomber carrying two 3.8 Megaton Hydrogen bombs broke up mid air and went through several stages of detention, one bomb was discovered but the second bomb broke up and it is believed that a big part of Uranium is still in the swamp somewhere. Maybe thats the reason some swamp people have 6 toes and 7 fingers…

Anyway, heres some snaps from today, I really wanted to go with the black and white shots today and shot a normal neighbour in this part of the world.

I hope you like these snaps.

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– Goldsboro, North Carolina –
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– the Neighbourhood –
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– the front lawn –